Tonight’s episode of Arrow was a relative slow burn for the normally fast-paced series. The good news is that “Blind Spot” gave a few characters who often get less screentime more room to breathe and develop; the bad news is that the show runs through its plot lines so fast that one wonders if they’ll have to resort to stretching some storylines over the season’s 12 remaining episodes. I’m not too worried though, because a slow night for Arrow is a homerun for almost any other show out there today. And while the bulk of tonight’s episode was a little clunky, the final sequence was worth the wait. Hit the jump for my recap and review.
As we do here on the recap, let’s take a moment to recap “Island Time”. Oliver and Sara return to their camp but Slade is nowhere to be found. The two engage in a conversation about trust in which it’s revealed that Laurel isn’t necessarily as trustworthy as Oliver might have thought. After Sara discovers that Dr. Ivo remains as treacherous as ever, Oliver and Sara agree to continue their search for Slade. Pretty straightforward, but that bit about Laurel’s true nature was developed quite well in the contemporary timeline in this episode.
Laurel’s been popping pills for quite some time now and it looks like “Blind Spot” is where it all finally catches up to her. Last week’s episode saw Laurel unearthing some disturbing news about Sebastian Blood’s past, news that would implicate him as the mastermind behind the rampaging Cyrus Gold, if she could only find proof. After striking out with her co-workers, she looks to Arrow for help. Felicity is on the case, but can find only one copy of a case file concerning the death of Blood’s father, and it’s in the Starling City Archives, which only someone on the city payroll could access. (Now, normally I don’t pick apart Arrow’s writing because it’s solid, but since Laurel is on the payroll, couldn’t she have just gotten clearance to enter the archive without raising more suspicion than accompanying the Arrow on a midnight raid? Did I miss something?)
After the raid turns up an empty case file (and rather lackluster action sequence) Laurel’s in worse shape than ever. She gets picked up for illegal possession of a controlled substance, is basically shunned by her alcoholic-in-recovery father, almost killed by one of Blood’s henchmen disguised as Blood himself, and then let go from the D.A.’s office. Oh, but hey, she didn’t get charged with homicide, so that’s a plus! I just worry that Laurel as a character is being forced into playing the victim, so I’m hoping that some redemption awaits her further down the line.
Now, concerning some other characters that don’t always get their share of the limelight, tonight’s ep had a fun little side quest for Roy and Sin (Bex Taylor-Klaus). Roy shows off his new powers to Sin, but remains stubbornly unwilling to reveal his new nature to Thea. Instead, Sin posed as a prostitute for a scumbag known as the Skid Row Slasher (who, if I heard the name correctly, had a very strange and brief appearance in DC’s canon). The Slasher attempts to live up to his name, but Roy nearly beats him to death – while under a shower of water from a busted sprinkler head, to boot. All the tension built up between Thea and Roy looks to be released somewhat by Arrow’s offer to train Roy to learn to control his new abilities, likely leading to the presumably costumed appearance of the Red Arrow.
The real highlight of “Blind Spot” wasn’t one of Felicity’s one-liners, or a Parkour-heavy chase across rooftops, but rather the appearance of an infamous villain in full-on battle gear. Slade, who was revealed to be the controlling force behind the Blood Cult, was none too happy with Blood’s bungling of the situation involving Laurel. Though he allowed Blood to live once things were set straight, Slade took out several of Blood’s henchman while wearing the Deathstroke costume, complete with mask. This move came way out of left field as I thought it’d be much closer to the season finale before we saw a hint of Deathstroke once again, so it was a welcome surprise to an otherwise okay episode. It remains to be seen just how the storyline will play out from here, but if the promo for next week’s show is any indication, Arrow may soon have a little more help on his side.
Quips & Quivers:
Arrow: “Hello, Laurel.” Laurel: “You’re late.” Arrow: “I had to circle around to see if a S.W.A.T. team was waiting for me again.”
Roy: “The Arrow once told me that all I was good for was taking a beating.”
Sara: “Not everybody’s what they seem.”
Roy: “Thea, Sin has a date. She needs something to wear … something slutty.”
Slade: “Fix this, Mr. Blood. You don’t want me to fix it for you.”
Quentin: “You’ve got a problem, Laurel. It’s an addiction. It runs in the family … and you can’t pin it on Sebastian Blood.”
Thea: “Who is that guy?” Sin: “He was my date. We put him there.”
Blood: “30,000 years ago, masks invested their wearers with authority, like a God.”
Quentin: “That’s the thing about booze and pills; the same thing that dulls the pain clouds the judgment.”
I’m glad Laurel faces no real legal trouble over the pill possession or the homicide, but Arrow does a good job of not getting caught in the comicbook trap of forgetting what happened in a previous issue. There will be repercussions.
Oliver on Laurel: “I do have a blind spot where she’s concerned. Not anymore.”
Next week, not only do the fans get to see Roy taking a turn at the salmon ladder, but we get another look at Michael Jai White as Bronze Tiger. Here’s hoping he gets a bit more fighting time in round two. Watch the promo for next week’s episode “Tremors” below: